A Champion For Children

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Jesus said in Matthew 19:14, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” How well do we take care of our children that are so precious to Jesus? Our lives are frequently on overload. We may want to, but seldom stop to recognize a child who is hurting. Sometimes, it is just a matter of not knowing how to help.

At Timberline Church, we strive to honor Jesus’ love of children and to hold all children in great esteem, especially the orphan. That desire led to the formation of our Welcome Child Ministry first as a support group for existing foster and adoptive parents that soon began to encourage others to consider doing the same. As the ministry grew, Welcome Child is now actively building bridges with people in the community who work with foster and adoptive kids and at-risk youth and families.

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Just one example of this community involvement is our backpack drive where we annually donate hundreds of backpacks to foster and adoptive kids going back to school. Timberline Church also sets aside a weekend each year to focus on Orphan Care, both locally and around the world by having a special message to the congregation and inviting agencies and organizations to be here to speak with people who are interested in getting involved in some way. Prayer has also always been primary in this ministry.

We are happy to announce that Welcome Child’s new volunteer director, Kristy DeAnda, will be carrying on this amazing ministry as a champion for children. She was initially the overseeing pastor when the ministry began and had a front-row seat to meet those who adopted kids into their families. As Kristy says, “Their passion for bringing Christ’s hope to some of most vulnerable in our midst, through adoption and foster care, kind of rubbed off on me, you could say. My husband and I became foster parents for Larimer County for a teen boy, and later decided to adopt older children from the foster system. I now work for a non-profit called Adopt Colorado Kids whose mission is to end the foster care crisis by advocating the needs for foster and adoptive families for Colorado Kids. I have been praying for awhile about where I could volunteer and serve at Timberline and when I was asked to consider leading Welcome Child, it was an answer to that prayer!”

We asked Kristy how more people can get involved. She said, “We understand that not everyone is in a position to become a foster or adoptive family, but there are manifold ways that someone could get involved ministering to kids and families, locally and around the world, through Welcome Child and other ministries at Timberline such as Royal Family Kids Camp.”

Nelson Mandela once said, “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” Thank you Kristy and Welcome Child for being true champions for children.

If you would like to find out more or get involved in the Welcome Child ministry, contact the Timberline Missions department at 970-482-4387 extension 141 or email lovereaches@timberlinechurch.org.

(Many thanks to our newest Storyteller Angela Smith for her work on this story.)

Still Gaining a New Perspective On Missions

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Last fall, Timberline Church helped sponsor a Perspectives On Missions 15-week course with future sessions being planned. One attendee—a 71-year-old former missionary and sole caregiver for her 96-year-old mother—signed up for the course, then took the plunge to complete the work at the Certificate level. In addition to the weekly teachings and reading assignments, Gwen Kovac also completed several written responses that were graded.

Gwen offered to share pieces of those assignments as a glimpse into how delving into the call of missions through the class material touched and transformed her heart.

“When I started this course I had no idea what it really was…I was concerned that it would be impossible to keep up with the reading and the assignments…I spend hours reading and answering the questions of the review. However, my joy with studying the Word of God through a different Perspective has enlightened me and opened up a new world to the Scripture.

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My prayer is that my passion for God and His purpose will never diminish but that it will greatly ignite and that my heart will rejoice by the things that rejoice the heart of God…I see and hear such strange things that churches call missions. I am not sure that worship is the object? Do we give God the glory? It appears that money and projects are the main interest. Are we seeking to instantly propagate the gospel as seen in the fly-by-day, evangelize-by-night, and leave the interested or new converts behind efforts? That doesn’t complete the mandate Christ has given us. Where is the movement of baptized and obedient disciples capable of evangelizing their entire people?

(The story of) Hudson Taylor impacts me…Hudson was convinced that the Great Commission was not given only to those in Jesus’ time…At the age of 21, he embarked for Shanghai (China) where he was disappointed in the lifestyle/ministry of the coastland missionaries and within less than one year he left for the interior where he felt the need for taking God’s love and God’s word was greater…chose to dress like the people he wanted to reach, learned their language…encouraged others to be lay missionaries without the university degrees expected of missionaries in those days…he trusted God because he was a man of faith…was not a lone ranger type missionary…didn’t become bitter over the time spent away from China, instead he saw God’s hand preparing him and getting him ready for the many willing to go to China…Within 20 years, there was one missionary in every province in China. He lived long enough to see 800 missionaries in China and Mongolia.

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The “Task Remaining” of this century requires prayer warriors of obedience and action to worship God, ask for His will to be done, and bring His glory and blessings to all the people…We must respect the way people identify themselves at any particular time. And it is true that it may scramble our categories or lists of people groups.  As those who take God’s blessing we must build bridges between multilingual, multiracial groups, the churched and the unchurched, the poor and the rich…My personal concern is that our strategies can become a scientific method without seeking God’s will on earth as it is in heaven. People become objects, numbers of the goal-oriented person and the cry “No man cares for my soul” is only a cry from history…If only mission agencies would not pull effective missionaries away from “reached groups” but rather mobilize many new missionaries from the rapidly expanding global Church.

 

On the idea of building cross-cultural belonging and communication: I wish that missionaries would “humanize” their water, building, and slum projects. For whom and why are they raising money? People are not a project. They are made in the image of God. They are not just a classification for some missiologist or ethnic study. I have had tribal people tell me “thank you for not sitting there with a notebook studying us and writing about every move we make as if we were monkeys. You love us”…To be a missionary is not just to go on an adventure trip whether a week or for years. It is the most fun, fulfilling life of God’s victories even in death. Lord, here I am, use me, spend me!

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On the idea of missions strategies: Could I become so focused on my missional strategies that I forget that it is the Holy Spirit who convicts of sin and calls man to repentance? Who does the work of transformation?… Does wanting to become like the people we love lead us into syncretism and we forget that it is God’s love not ours that will save them? Do we get so caught up in our motives, in our desires to make others become believers that we actually interfere and damage the people’s cultures? Are we so goal oriented in “our mission” that we leave out the very One of interest, the One who called us?…I am thrilled to think of the viable indigenous church as the organic church.

How can I fear to go wherever He might lead me? If God can shut the mouths of lions, if God can cause communism to open the doors of blessing and freedom of worship for the peoples of Mongolia…He will take care of me. His Word will be carried around the world by those willing to spend their lives for Our Father, the God of Abraham.”

As you ponder the thoughts of one woman who was stretched to view missions in a new way and begin to pray and respond accordingly, ask if God is calling you to learn more of His heart for the world? Discover more ways to get involved locally, nationally, and globally during the upcoming Missions Focus and consider signing up for the Perspectives class the next time it is offered.

Celebrating 10 Years of Fighting Human Trafficking Together

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Make plans now to join us this weekend, January 28th and 29th, as we celebrate 10 years of making a difference around the world during the U COUNT Spotlight Weekend. Here’s what U COUNT Founder and Director Bonnie Northrup had to say:

“Throughout time there have been people who have identified injustice and chosen to courageously step up to the plate and be a voice for the voiceless. They are the freedom fighters.

Historically it was people like William Wilberforce, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King that fought societal norms resulting in the changed lives of millions.

Today the fight continues through the voices and efforts of people that include David and Beth Grant from Project Rescue, Ambika Pandey from Deepika Ministries, India, and all of you – the volunteers from the U COUNT Campaign!

In 2007, U COUNT got its start resulting from the outrage I felt from reading an article on slavery. Now, a decade later, because of you – countless women have found economic freedom, a home exists offering a place of ministry and safety, a center brings hope to the women of a red-light district community, a new vocational unit offers a place for creativity and self-worth to develop. Local youth, community, service and law enforcement groups gather for awareness and to form trafficking prevention strategies, emergency bags and coded gifts offering help to victims.  We have come such a very long way! The journey has been amazing. So, here’s to our ten-year anniversary – let’s celebrate!

Unfortunately, lives still languish at the hands of traffickers, so our fight continues. Thank you for continuing to recognize your sphere of influence, your potential to make a difference, for vacating your comfort zones and choosing to make your life count for women and children.  What will the next decade bring? Who knows, but I believe the results of your hard work will mirror the last ten years and continue to be “abundantly above all we could ever ask or think…” Ephesians 3:20. Thank you FREEDOM FIGHTERS!”

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.    – Margaret Mead

What can you expect during this special U COUNT Spotlight Weekend?

  • Inspiring stories about lives that have been transformed through the power of hope delivered thanks to the generosity of the Timberline Church family given through our domestic and global partnerships.
  • Stark facts about the continuing issues across the ocean and in our own backyard.
  • Opportunities to get involved financially through an offering for specific projects as well as the chance to shop the Marketplace and buy unique items handcrafted by rescued women finding a way to build a self-sustaining future.
  • More information about ways to make a difference through organizations represented at Tables in the Mall.

Find out more at ucountcampaign.org where you can sign up for their monthly newsletter filled with more opportunities to make a difference and specific ways to pray.

Plan Now for a Short-Term Missions Trip in 2017

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Where do you see yourself in the new year? Is this the year you step out of your comfort zone to serve others in a different part of the world? Or will you discover new ways to impact our local community? What part of the world will you reach?

As of this date, the following trips are planned (but more may get added):

March 11-19 San Francisco City Impact Mackenzie Matthews, Timberline College
May 28-June 11 Georgia (the country) Chad Walker, Michael Anderson
June 12-16 Royal Family Kids – Larimer/Fort Collins Timberline Fort Collins
June 26-30 Royal Family Kids – Weld/Windsor Timberline Windsor
July 2-8 Hillcrest Children’s Home in Hot Springs Kari Stewart
July 16-30 Georgia Chad Walker, Michael Anderson
Oct 10-25 China Phil and Claire Smith
Fall 2017 Haiti Josh and Nicole Stone, nine70

Find out more about these trips at LoveReaches.org. Even if you cannot travel in the coming year, please pray for the leaders and team members. You can also donate toward a trip for someone else.

P.S. Mark your calendar now for two more amazing ways to kick off our global impact at the beginning of the year. The U COUNT Spotlight weekend will be January 28 and 29 while Missions Week will be April 1 to 5.

A Perspective About Perspectives

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Timberline Church recently helped host a fifteen-week course that opens the eyes of participants to see their part in God’s bigger purpose for the world through missions. We asked the main organizer, Glenn Gilbert, to share a few key lessons from this last session. (Stay tuned for information about another course in 2017! You can learn more about Perspectives from their website- www.perspectives.org.)

One of the most influential Christian educational courses I’ve ever taken is Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. It’s a fifteen-week course held at local churches, hosted by lay volunteers, and taught by expert instructors- pastors, missionaries, mobilizers and professors, from four “perspectives”: Biblical, historical, cultural and strategic. Its principal focus is helping people find their place in God’s global purpose of being loved by every people.

One of the fundamental lessons taught in the course is from the Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The word “nations” in this verse is the Greek word ethnos which could be understood as “peoples” from an ethno-linguistic point of view rather than “nations” from geo-political. This has huge significance in understanding Jesus’ mandate of making disciples of all of them. Christian organizations have identified 24,000 of these peoples with 6,000 of them not having a replicating church within their cultural boundaries. How are they going to hear of God’s love for them?

Another great teaching of Perspectives is that although not everyone “goes” to the nations as a missionary, everyone has a place and calling in God’s global purpose. One might be a sender or “servicer” by praying or providing financial resources. Anyone can also be involved by becoming better informed. Who are these unreached people groups? How could we go to them? Who is available to go and how could we come along side of them to help? When is Mission’s Week at Timberline? There are a lot of exciting possibilities for everyone to do something.

Adopt-A-Family and Christmas Family Festival Still Need Your Help

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Each year this magical time seems to creep up on us. Before we know it Thanksgiving is here and Christmas shopping is in full swing. Lists are made, wants are clear, and packages begin to fill every secret nook and cranny in our houses.  Every year the Christmas season comes and families, right here, in our community are making lists they know they can’t finish, are listening to wants they know they can’t provide, and the underneath of their beds and in their closets stay empty. Each year hundreds of families know that they will struggle to make Christmas happen for their kids.

Fifteen years ago things changed.  Adopt-A-Family was born with a servant’s heart and the desire to show the love of Jesus in helping those in our community that dread this time.   In the program’s first year, they served 42 families. In 2015 we served 1700 and we are well on the way to do it again! We are amazed and humbled at God’s provision of the ability to transform relationships in our community and His church through service.

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Adopt-A-Family would be nothing without the hundreds of volunteers, donors, adopters, churches, businesses and supporters who year after year go above and beyond. Timberline is blessed to have so many generous families and we thank God every day for their involvement and dedication to make this program the success it is.

Even though our program is in its final stretch we still have many needs to fill. We are still looking for families that would love to get involved by stepping up to personally adopt a family and provide the toys and gifts that they couldn’t. For some families adopting another family is something they look forward to every year.

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To those of you who want to be involved but adopting does feel like a fit we also host a huge community Christmas Family Festival, Wednesday December 14th from 4:00-6:00pm, where we invite not only those who have been adopted by our program but the community as a whole. There are food, games, a petting zoo, and crafts, family portraits, Santa and so much more. This is a volunteer run event and we are never lacking in fun ways for the whole family to jump in the night of!

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Adopt-A-Family is an amazing program about so much more than the tangible gifts that it provides and we are truly thankful for the opportunity God has given us to spread a little joy and hope during the holidays.

If you have any interest in joining our program, please call Timberline Church 970-482-4387 ext.130 to become an adopter family or follow the link https://serve68.doodle.com/poll/ayqza8eyneikphrv to join our Family Festival team.

We pray your season is Merry and Bright.

Blessings, from the Local Missions Team at Timberline Church.

Another Update About Giving From Timberkids!

 

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As part of our annual Orphan Care Weekend focus, the Timberkids children’s ministry at Timberline Church set an ambitious goal to raise some money for a piggery at Cherish Uganda. (Read more about their goal here.) The numbers are in! Here’s an update from Pastor Donny Abbott:

For the month of October, Timberkids set a goal of raising $3500 to purchase pigs (Timberpigs) for Cherish Uganda. We asked kids to fill their cups with change during the month of October and to bring their cups back to church on Orphan Care Weekend (Nov. 5/6). That weekend the kids poured money from their cups into pig troughs. (Until the troughs began to sag along the bottoms!)

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To get that weekend off to a good start we had live pigs on site to help get us into a giving mood.

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I am happy to report that we ended up raising $3,648!!! This money will be used to greatly expand the current piggery at Cherish and will allow them to sell the pigs on the open market as a way of producing income. This is yet another step forward in helping Cherish to become sustainable while also creating awareness of who Cherish is and why they exist. For more info on Cherish please visit cherishuganda.org.